Outside the brewery of Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Outside the brewery of Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Surly Brewing Co.

You do enough settling. That’s part of life. You owe it to yourself to drink a beer that doesn’t settle. Not settling drives Surly Brewing Co. It’s what drove us to convert a Brooklyn Center abrasives factory to a brewery in 2004. It’s what drove Surly’s owner, Omar Ansari, to go bar to bar, asking them to carry our beer. It’s what drove us to earn medals from the Great American Beer Festival and Best Brewery in America honors. It’s what drove us to change a Minnesota law that had been on the books since Prohibition. It’s what drove us to build a state-of-the-art destination brewery in the heart of the Twin Cities in 2014 featuring a massive beer hall, pizza place, outdoor beer garden, company store and event center. And it’s what drives us today. Surly’s not for everyone. It’s for you. Don’t settle. Get Surly.


Like all great stories, the story of Surly Brewing Co. begins at Ansari Abrasives (later Sparky Abrasives), tucked away in a Brooklyn Center industrial park, owned by first-generation immigrants Naseem (Nick) and Dorit Ansari.

Their son, Omar Ansari, caught the home brewing bug in the early 2000s when the craft beer industry was a different place, especially in Minnesota. The quest to find a quality craft beer around here really was enough to make a person surly.

Inability to Find One Good Beer Led to the Brewery’s Founding

It’s what led Omar and founding head brewer Todd Haug to make the kind of beer they wanted to drink. With Becca (Omar’s wife), Nick, and Dorit’s blessings, a portion of the abrasives factory was converted to a brewery. And, on December 30, 2005, Surly Brewing Co. began.

The first beer was Bender, an oatmeal brown ale. That opened the door. Furious, an aggressively hopped IPA, kicked it in, transforming the way Minnesota thought about craft beer. Word spread, especially among the Twin Cities’ nascent craft beer community. The abrasives factory soon gave way to a full-time brewing facility. Best-of lists and Brewery of the Year honors followed. Something was happening here.

It soon became clear that the repurposed abrasives factory was nowhere near big enough to keep up with demand. Trips to Europe and California sold Omar on the idea of a destination brewery, one that could produce enough beer for Surly Nation at large while combining beer, food, and community for a singular experience.

Overturning of Prohibition-Era Laws

As this idea started to gain momentum, Omar was perplexed by a Prohibition-era Minnesota law that prevented production breweries from selling their beer onsite. He worked with Minnesota legislators, and the vocal, passionate Surly Nation, to change that law. The so-called “Surly Bill” passed on May 24, 2011, and scores of new breweries and taprooms bloomed. Minnesota’s proud brewing history, unchanged for so long, finally got another chapter, one that’s still being written.

In December 2014, the Brooklyn Center taproom poured its last pint and Minneapolis’ Prospect Park neighborhood officially became home to the Surly Destination Brewery. The 50,000 square-foot facility hosts a brew house, beer hall, beer garden, company store, event center, pizza restaurant, and Festival Field concert venue.

Surly Brewing Today

Surly head brewer Ben Smith continues the relentless pursuit of craft beer perfection, pushing boundaries and refusing to brew to style (except for when we do). The brewery now has capacity to serve eight states and one province. Our year-round line-up includes eight styles, while our seasonal styles, small batches, and brand collaborations continue to innovate. Darkness, our acclaimed Russian Imperial Stout, organically developed its own annual Darkness Day.

Surly has been a proudly independent craft brewery for nearly 15 years. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t Settle. Get Surly.

Visiting the Surly Beer Hall

Surly Brewing Company’s Destination Brewery in Minneapolis is a space where folks can meet and connect over a beer. There’s a bunch to do and see: our Beer Hall & Restaurant has a rotating tap list of 25 to 35 Surly beers and an extensive menu of great food that pairs well with those beers. Visitors also have the chance to hop on a tour, enjoy a beer outdoors in our Beer Garden, or stop by The Company Store, which has 200+ awesome Surly merch items for sale.

More information on where to Get Surly can be found on the company’s website surlybrewing.com.

Surly Brewing Co. is an independent craft brewer.

Independent Brewery

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Inside the taproom of Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Inside the taproom of Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Surly Brewing Co.

  • 520 Malcolm Ave SE
  • Minneapolis, MN 55414-3312
  • United States
  • (763) 999-4040

For More Information

Visit the Brewery Website


A selection of beers from Surly Brewing Co.

Beer NameStyleABVIBUsCal.Rating
#Merica Review American Pale Lager5.01503.65
13 Review American Imperial Stout12.53754.31
2008 Barrel Aged Smoke Review Baltic Porter4
3DH Triple IPA Review American Double IPA10.03003.91
60 Below Review American IPA6.51953.94
Abrasive Ale Review American Double IPA9.02704.52
ALTernative Facts Review Altbier5.41623.52
At The End Of The Internet Review New England IPA10.03004.59
Axe Man Review American IPA7.22163.8
Bandit Eyes Review Hefeweizen5.51654.06


Surly Brewing Co. in the News

Beers from Jack’s Abby and Surly Brewing to Hit 30 New Markets this Fall

Brew Pipeline is launching an Oktoberfest collection of beers from Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers and Surly Brewing Co. to hit 30-plus new markets this fall. Read More

Surly Brewing Hosts Food Drive at Local Liquor Stores

Surly Brewing Co. has teamed up with local nonprofit The Food Group to provide meals to hungry Minnesotans during this unprecedented time of need. Read More

Minnesota Brewery Laws End Surly’s Darkness Day

Surly Brewing Co. announced they were putting a hold on their annual Darkness Day event due to restrictions placed on breweries of their size. Read More

Surly Brewing Expands Footprint to a Trio of New Markets

Surly Brewing recently announced that the brewery was expanding its distribution into the three new markets of Arizona, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri. Read More